Himachal Pradesh became the fifth state in India to have confirmed bird flu cases in the last one week. This comes after the same virus was detected in Rajasthan, Kerala, Haryana and Madhya Pradesh
While lakhs of poultry were reported dead from Haryana, migratory birds died in Himachal Pradesh. In Madhya Pradesh, hundreds of crows were found dead in the last one week.
Here’s what we know about it so far:
1,800 birds found dead in Himachal
Around 1,800 migratory birds died at the Pong Dam lake in the state in one week and now officials have confirmed that it was because of the H1N1 avian influenza virus.
The State Animal Husbandry Department told ANI, “Around 1775 migratory birds have died. We’ve suspicions of bird flu. A 10-km alert zone declared where no sale of eggs allowed and poultry markets closed.”
Reports said that most of these birds were bar-headed geese.
In an order issued on Monday evening, the district magistrate of Kangra declared a ban on sale or culling of poultry in the alert zone and asked shops selling poultry or fish to remain closed. Movement of tourists or locals were also prohibited within 1 km radius of the Pong Dam lake.
The order also prohibited grazing of animals within 1 km radius of the lake as a measure of precaution.
Probe into dead birds in Haryana
Meanwhile, in Haryana, the Animal Husbandry and Dairying Department had launched a probe into the death of lakhs of poultry birds, reported The Indian Express.
The deaths occurred in at least 20 poultry farms in Barwala. The report said that around 80 samples of dead birds have been sent to the Regional Disease Diagnostic Laboratory in Jalandhar.
The Tribune reported that another team from the lab in Jalandhar will collect samples from the area today.
Dead crows in Madhya Pradesh test positive for bird flu
Samples of dead crows tested by the animal husbandry department have tested positive for the avian influenza in Madhya Pradesh. Deaths of crows have been reported in several districts including Indore, Mandsaur, Agar Malwa and Khargone.
Manish Ingole of the Animal Husbandry department told ANI, “Bird Flu has been detected in four samples of dead crows sent to the state lab. Around 100 crows died in Mandsaur between December 23 and January 3. Medical team to conduct surveillance within 1-km of the infected area.”
According to the ANI, 367 crows have died in the four districts between December 23 and January 3.
Rajasthan sounds bird flu alert
Deaths of birds began in Rajasthan too around December 25. And as more and more deaths of birds have been reported from the state since then, authorities have sounded a bird flu alert.
NDTV reported that around 250 crows have been reported dead from the districts of Jhalawar, Kote, Baran, Pali, Jodhpur and Jaipur.
The report said that Section 144 was imposed in a 1km radius of the Balaji area of Jhalawar district as a precaution.
This comes after Rajasthan’s animal husbandry minister Lalchand Kataria held an emergency meeting on Sunday.
40,000 birds to be culled in Kerala
Reports say that Kerala plans to cull around 40,000 birds as a strain of the influenza virus H1N8 was detected in the state.
The Hindu reported that the Kottayam and Alappuzha districts were put on high alert and birds in the 1 km radius of the infected areas would be culled.
After hundreds of deaths of ducks were reported from the state, right samples were airlifted to Bhopal’s National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases for testing. The report in The Hindu said five of those samples tested positive for bird flu.